Thursday, July 13, 2006

take the long way home

I've been taking the long route home. These are the outskirts of Melbourne, usually where the trendies draw the line at settling down. No further. Five minutes one way and you're spotting hippies behind 100 year old trees. 20 minutes the other and you're in the thick of the concrete jungle.

I take the hippy route home.
It's completely out of the way.

Increasingly I'm finding myself in need of what is known as down time, me time, de-stress time. I can't think of any other way of doing it that isn't going to drive me crazy. I used to draw, not that comic book girl stuff but really draw. There is something therapeutic about letting the pencil just roam across the page until it becomes something worth keeping. But I threw a lot of that art away because it simply wasn't good enough or rather I wasn't good enough. And then I got scared about drawing, so I stopped. I used to dance...same story - substitute the appropriate words and you'll get the same picture. Writing? Same again. I need something accessable now, something that isn't going to challenge everything I have already beaten myself around the shoulders about, so I do the only thing I can think of that is just there and so effective. I take the long route home, over the winding feathered roads that cut through the green belt.

I enjoy the road twisting under my swift wheels like a squiggly line. It goes one way and then suddenly another. The locals speed along like old pros, tailgating the sightseers and so called Sunday drivers. But to me it's like putting on my old worn pajamas. In my mind I travel back to my teaching rounds where I taught at a school just up the top of the hill - where a kookaburra sang a song each morning and the children believed in fairies and had horses for pets instead of chihuahuas. It was enchanting. Maybe I'm not such a city girl after all, still maybe a little green around the cockles. I hope. One can only hope that they are more than they seem.

So despite being a newcomer to these parts, I'm really an old pro too - I know it well. I enjoyed the car trip home back then too. 20 minutes with music on is half an album and a sore throat. 20 mintues with the radio off is good hard think about things. I take the turns with ease and marvel at the small group of rosellas perched high on a tree branch above the cars. I hum along with the noise of the engine, everything always looks so green and new and ..fresh. Even the little stores with their distinct 'quaint' feel seem fresh - though I know they've been there probably longer than I have been here, on this planet. But the illusion of freshness inside a cocoon of delightful antiquity is what draws me back. It's the curly ribbons for roads instead of straight lines and traffic lights that keeps me driving until I've fought through the fog to come out the other side blinking into the glare.

And that's an issue too. Sometimes you come out the other side and it's all okay again, but you still have no idea what to do.